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As the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic appear to be waning, the cost of living is coming into focus as the major issue facing Australians, potentially swinging their vote as the election approaches. But why are we finding it harder to make ends meet? Will things get better soon? And what can the Commonwealth government do to help ease the pressure? Well, as my old State Treasury colleagues would say: it’s complicated and it depends. Inflation creation Rising cost of living is generally synonymous with higher inflation.  But inflation has been fairly stable over the last five years with the Consumer